Burnside, Beothuks and a Happy Adventure

After a few days visit from Sandy that included wonderful painting of the new chair and old deck, a scrabble tournament and Saturday night singalong……thanks heaps Sandy!…….we traveled together to Musgrave Harbour on a very hot day to view the famous sandy beach and partake of a tasty repast of fish & chips at the Rocky Ridge Diner. Sandy then went west to Gros Morne while we went east staying two nights in a ‘Cape Cod’ style B & B.   ahhh….first hot showers in 28 days….and a jacuzzi….


Almost the most easterly point of Newfoundland we meandered the coves in our little black car and took in the charming sights of Eastport, Salvage (great little pub there ‘Ocean Breeze’ in a converted ‘Orangeman Hall’), Sandy Cove and Burnside. The last being the site of Beothuk and Paleo-Eskimo archeological centre. They have found quarries up to 5000 years old where there have been over a million chips of stone worked by the progression of peoples for tools.


Disappointingly, the 4 hour boat tour of the archeological digs on neighbouring islands was not available due to boat engine trouble.  However, we did manage to fulfill a childhood dream of Fran’s and take a ferry trip to the island of St Brendan’s.  At age 11 she was spell bound by the legend of St Brendan’s voyage in a book of the same name.

Predating the Viking’s landing of a thousand years ago, St Brendan, a medieval Irish monk, was claimed to have sailed in a handmade leather boat from Ireland, pushed by the current north to Greenland, then south past Iceland before landing on this far flung island in the Atlantic. An oral legend existed of tales of sea monsters, volcanoes and ice palaces. In the 1970’s the voyage was recreated by Tim Severin in the same traditional curragh, a boat hand fashioned from wood and leather. It is believed they landed within 20 miles from the original journey.

Back at Burnside while snooping around the hamlet we came upon a house for sale on a point overlooking the chain of islands… the owner happened to turn up and gave permission for us to look inside….and so we did and the photos reveal the ‘old world charm’ of this ‘fixer upper’ on 1.25 acres for $95,000…..’If These Walls Could Talk’…indeed…the 100 year old, three storey house was built on still solid tree logs and layered slate…..the owner reminisced about the many happy summer holidays going back generations. But too much work for us to make habitable again…..and we are happy with our little cottage on the lake…..

It was a full couple of days with a trek up to a lookout at Sandy Cove where we startled an animal, which we bought thought at a first a black bear before seeing the long bushy tail so possibly a Coyote or even a Timber Wolf. Finally reaching the top of the steep incline we were rewarded with views of islands shrouded in mists, with soaring bald eagles and masses of blueberries.

We finished the trip with a stop at another cove: Happy Adventure, so named by the couple of families who several years ago, sometime in the 1700’s, decided to take a trip out on a summer’s day, happened upon this sheltered cove and decided to settle. We bought 5lbs of fresh cod(yum yum) for $22 from the fish plant before heading west towards Gander and back to the Blue Charm Inn (which now has a green trim…)


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